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Tom Nolan

Tom Nolan: Industrial action – winners and losers

25 Jun, 12 | by BMJ

The dust has settled following last week’s industrial action on pensions. Online forums, Twitter, and blogs have been alight with doctors giving their views—who do they feel have been the winners and losers?



Tom Nolan: Welcome to the Fold

22 May, 12 | by BMJ

“You need a lot of patience to play this game,” one of the Foldit community replied after I asked for some tips on how to rebuild my protein’s backbone. “Just keep wiggling,” another suggested. The frustration of watching my score plummet as my protein unfolded was getting to me. I might have given up at this point, but Foldit is not just a geeky thinking man’s Angry Birds. By playing I’m also contributing to science, joining the effort to better understand protein structures that may one day lead to new cures for disease. With that goal in mind, I start again, attach my virtual rubber bands to different points on the protein, and click, wiggle, and cross my fingers. more…

Tom Nolan: assessing the swine flu pandemic

24 Mar, 10 | by BMJ

GPs, politicians, journalists, and practice managers met for the Pandemic Summit at the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) last Thursday to share their experiences on surviving the swine flu pandemic. Speakers included representatives from the Department of Health, ECDC (European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control), and the RCGP. Fergus Walsh, the BBC’s health correspondent and Tony Jewell, the Chief Medical Officer for Wales also took to the stage.

Tom Nolan on how to kiss during a flu pandemic

23 Nov, 09 | by BMJ Group

The first cases of H1N1 infection resistant to oseltamivir (Tamiflu) spreading from person-to-person were found in Wales last week. The spread of the resistant strain occurred at the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff and all five people affected have “severe underlying health conditions” according to officials.

Dr Roland Salmon, Director of the NPHS Communicable Disease Surveillance Centre, said: “The emergence of influenza A viruses that are resistant to Tamiflu is not unexpected in patients with serious underlying conditions and suppressed immune systems, who still test positive for the virus despite treatment.” more…

Tom Nolan: New pandemic flu guidelines – don’t forget your oximeter

12 Nov, 09 | by BMJ

New guidelines on the management of pandemic H1N1 influenza were published recently by the Department of Health. They include guidelines on when to refer patients to hospital (see below) and an update on the epidemiology of the disease: fewer than 1% of cases are admitted to hospital; 12-15% of patients admitted to hospital go on to need high dependency or critical care; and mortality for hospitalised adults is around 6%. more…

Tom Nolan on what every doctor should know about the swine flu vaccine

30 Oct, 09 | by BMJ

The H1N1 vaccination programme is underway in the UK and many other countries across the globe. In Sweden a million people have already been vaccinated. One swine flu vaccine manufacturer, GlaxoSmithKline, expects to produce 440 million doses over the next few months. With newspapers, television and the internet raising doubts about the safety of the vaccine, many doctors will be consulted by anxious patients wanting to know whether the vaccine is safe and effective. more…

Tom Nolan on the swine flu vaccine

21 Oct, 09 | by julietwalker

The swine flu vaccine is officially here. The UK government announced on Friday that over 400,000 doses of the swine flu vaccine will be delivered to hospitals this week. The first to get the jab (from Wednesday) will be hospital inpatients belonging to at-risk groups and hospital staff. Next week GPs are due to start vaccinating patients according to their priority status, which are as follows (top priority first): people aged six months to 65 years with underlying health problems and the immuno-suppressed; pregnant women; household contacts of people with compromised immune systems; people aged over 65 with health problems. The Daily Mail are characteristically concerned about the vaccine, in particular its use in children. more…

Tom Nolan on flu: A lucky break

12 Oct, 09 | by BMJ Group

England’s chief medical officer Sir Liam Donaldson can sound gloomy and pessimistic but he sounded very upbeat in this week’s swine flu update, saying: “We may have got a lucky break in how the virus has behaved at the start of our flu season and we may be able to get the vaccine out there before our flu season really gets under way. I’m looking at it very optimistically.” more…

Helen Macdonald on Panorama Special; swine flu

18 Sep, 09 | by julietwalker

Helen MacdonaldThe BBC trailed it as everything you need to know about swine flu. The title probably raised my expectations too high.

A street poll near the start of the programme showed that the public were a bit confused about who was at the most risk of swine flu, so it seemed the programme had some scope to educate viewers; and it did feel a bit like a government broadcast, or a school education film. Three presenters travelled the world to “expose the myths and the dangers of swine flu,” interviewing “swine flu survivors and the relatives of its young victims”. more…

Tom Nolan: Swine flu estimated to be 100 times more virulent than seasonal flu

3 Sep, 09 | by BMJ

PLOS Currents: Influenza is a journal with a difference. Mixing features of a journal with those of blogs and discussion forums it’s bound to ruffle some feathers. It describes itself as “a moderated collection for rapid and open sharing of useful new scientific data, analyses, and ideas.” Contributions are not peer reviewed other than for intelligibility, relevance and suitability. You can rate and comment on submissions and see how many other people have read them. Is this the future of research or a dangerous drop in standards? more…

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